Written by Lindsey Smith. Published March 6, 2018.
You’ve just bought your plane tickets, booked your suite at the Tucker House Inn and confirmed your ferry reservation. Way to go! You’ve taken the first steps to planning a vacation of a life time. A Pacific Northwest adventure you’ll never forget.
Now that you’ve done your part for the economy, give your wallet a rest and plan out your days with some awesome free or low-cost activities! After enjoying breakfast delivered to your room each morning (at no additional cost – might we add!) venture out and check off the activities on this list. We’re sharing our top five favorites with you:
1. Hiking and Biking
For a 55 sq. mi. island, there is surprisingly a lot of uniquely scenic ground to cover! Choose from a long list of hikes: Mount Finlayson, Mount Grant, Mount Dallas, Young Hill, Jackle’s Lagoon, American Camp, English Camp, South Beach… and that’s just this island! Hop on an inter-island ferry over to Orcas Island and experience Turtleback Mountain and Mount Constitution. If biking is more your style, here at the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites, we have complimentary hybrid bikes for use by our guests. (And kayaks for that matter!) Try out a moderate 6 mile loop around a scenic peninsula starting and ending at our property.
2. Music Scene
Aside from the live music that takes place almost every night in restaurants and bars around town, head down by the water for live performances throughout the day! You’ll see various types of artists performing music down by the piers. On a few afternoons every week a group of steel drummers draw an audience, and their melodies can be heard all around downtown. Its an atmosphere you don’t want to miss.
3. Sweet Serendipity
This small spot on A Street is a local favorite. While there is a nice big book store in the heart of downtown called Griffin Bay Bookstore, this used book shop called Serendipity is a real treasure hunt. Filled with thousands of gently used books, all categorized and sorted for easy finding…if you know what you’re looking for, that is. If not, let the literary treasure hunt begin! You won’t believe what you may find.
4. Local Foraging
The island in the spring and Summer months is notorious for local foraging. From the casual harvest of edible greens, berries, and weeds to the seaside adventures of clamming, foraging on San Juan Island is abundant. We will gladly assist you with directions to foraging spots around the island. Many of the spots are close to the Tucker House Inn and Harrison House Suites. Check out one of our other blogs that details exactly what, where and how!
5. “Pay What You Can”
You’ve hit all the hikes, taken our bikes for the 6 mile route we recommended to you, found some old gems in the book store, danced to some steel drums, and made muffins with the bucket-full of local blackberries you picked. Now what? Well look at the calendar..is it’s Thursday? Hopefully, because that means its “Pay What You Can” night at the local community theatre! Expect the performance to begin around 7:30pm, and believe me, the San Juan Community Theatre really knows how to put on a show. Located on the northern side of downtown, your time spent in this big beautiful building will not be easily forgotten. Be sure to arrive early, as this donation-only showing fills fast!!
These are just a few of many low-cost activities to keep you and your traveling companions entertained for your whole stay! Keep an eye on the Visitors Bureau website for even more community events and happenings. Be sure to book your perfect room far in advance for the summer months, as the lodging for this 55 sq mi island fills up fast! Plus, the rates only increase with time. We look forward to welcoming you to our slice of paradise. Cheers!